Developing your commercial awareness/business acumen
Developing your commercial awareness/business acumen

The following In-house Advisor practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Developing your commercial awareness/business acumen
  • Gaining familiarity with your organization
  • Putting a transaction in context
  • Appreciating the financial impact of what you do or don't do
  • Overcoming your fear of and discomfort with ‘the numbers’
  • Opportunities and methods of development

This note provides practical guidance and tips for in-house lawyers on developing and improving their own commercial awareness.

Gaining familiarity with your organization

Most business people find it more reassuring if their in-house lawyers are familiar with:

  1. the business

  2. the company structure (and its evolution)

  3. the industry

Indeed these are prerequisites to performing well as an in-house lawyer. Read Practice Notes: Building relationships with ‘business colleagues /clients’ and Developing business credibility.

This table sets out some suggestions as to how you might increase your awareness of the key areas:

Documents to studyEventsQuestions to pose to business people
Business strategy/plansThose which describe themInternal briefingsHow does this fit with the strategy?
Products/services on offerBrochures, websiteCustomer demonstrationsStaff training ShadowingCan you show me what is does/how it works?
Profitable/on target activitiesManagement accounts, analysts’ reportsHow are you doing?
Major customersBusiness pressNegotiation sessionsAre they still in our top ten?
Activities which are in difficulty or loss makingManagement accounts, analysts’ reportsHow difficult is it out there?
Competitors—known and potentialBusiness press, mediaTrade fairs, trade association meetingsDid you expect them to be active in this area?
Significant suppliersBusiness pressNegotiation sessionsAre we still dependent on them?
Regulators who can affect the business to a material degreeCompliance policiesCompliance trainingWhat are the showstoppers? (Bear in mind that you may be expected to know already.)
Other key stakeholdersAnalysts’ reports, mediaWhat do you think their agenda is?
Developments in t

Popular documents